“Helen Simard is what all young whippersnappers should aspire to be: an adult whippersnapper, who has matured from snot-nosed punk to a respectable grownup punk. […] You get the sense, watching her work, that she truly does not give a good goddamn what you think. Whether or not that is true is irrelevant. She doesn't have to care, really. She's that good.”
— Tara McGowan-Ross, Broadway World
Helen Simard is a choreographer, performer and rehearsal director. After working with Solid State Breakdance, an artist collective that combined street and contemporary dance, for 12 years and participating in the creation of 9 shows, she switched gears in 2012 to lead her own artistic projects. As an independent choreographer, Helen collaborates with musicians and dancers to create raw, visceral interdisciplinary shows, including On the Subject of Compassion (2011), Can You Hear Me? (2017) and Dance Side of the Moon (2018). She uses the codes and aesthetics of rock music, creating lively, interactive, performances that challenge the conventions of stage dance forms. For 6 years, her research was focused on the icon of American punk rock, Iggy Pop. Inspired by the music, persona, and cathartic dances of this legendary performer, she created a cathartic and hallucinatory trilogy of interdisciplinary works— NO FUN (2014), IDIOT (2017), and REQUIEM POP (2019)—, which were presented by Tangente Danse, La Chapelle, Agora de la Danse, Centaur Theater and OFFTA in Montreal, as well as SummerWorks (Toronto) and Dancing on the Edge (Vancouver). A graduate of the BFA in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University (2000), Helen also holds a MA in Dance from UQAM (2014). She is a regular contributor to The Dance Current, and is presently writing her first play under the guidance of Playwrights' Workshop Montreal.